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  1. Hurricane

Tropical Storm Jerry expected to become a hurricane later today

The system should stay well east of the United States, according to forecasters.
Atlantic tropical cyclones and disturbances, as of 5 a.m. Thursday. [National Hurricane Center]
Published Sep. 19
Updated Sep. 19

Tropical Storm Jerry is nearing hurricane strength as it approaches the Leeward Islands, the National Hurricane Center said Thursday in its latest advisory.

As of 5 a.m., Jerry was located about 575 miles east of the Leeward Islands and moving west-northwest at 16 miles per hour. It had maximum sustained winds of 70 miles per hour with tropical storm-force winds extending up to 45 miles from its center.

A west-northwest motion at a slightly faster forward speed is expected over the next few days. Its center is forecast to be near or north of the northern Leeward Islands Friday and pass north of Puerto Rico on Saturday.

Jerry is forecast to become a hurricane later today, with little change in strength anticipated on Friday or Saturday.

The system is expected to dump 1 to 2 inches and as much as 3 inches of rain across the northern Leeward Islands, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. Swells capable of creating life-threatening surf and rip currents are expected to affect portions of the northern Leeward Islands by later today.

Hurricane Humberto, located about 250 miles northeast of Bermuda, remains a Category 3 storm but is expected to weaken soon, according to the hurricane center. Currently packing maximum sustained winds of 125 mph, it should start to weaken today and become a post-tropical cyclone by Friday.

Moving toward the northeast at 22 mph, Humberto is expected to switch to a north-northeastward motion Thursday night and Friday and then turn toward the east-northeast Friday night and Saturday.

Meanwhile, rain from Tropical Depression Imelda deluged parts of Texas and Louisiana on Thursday, prompting water rescues, a hospital evacuation and road closures in areas east of Houston.

Forecasters warned that Imelda, located about 70 miles northeast of College Station and 110 miles north of Houston as of 4 a.m., could bring up to 35 inches of rain this week in some areas of Texas through Friday.

The worst of the flooding is east of Houston, and some local officials said the rainfall Thursday is causing flooding worse than what happened during Hurricane Harvey.

Elsewhere, a tropical wave about 1000 miles west of the Cabo Verde Islands is producing disorganized cloudiness and showers. Some development is possible while the system approaches the Windward Islands this weekend or when it moves across the eastern Caribbean Sea early next week.

Also, an area of low pressure just south of the Dominican Republic is expected to dump heavy rain over portions of the Dominican Republic and Haiti during the next day or two. Although upper-level winds are not conducive for significant development, according to the hurricane center, some slight development is still possible before the system begins to interact with the high terrain of Hispaniola.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

2019 Tampa Bay Times Hurricane Guide

HURRICANE SEASON IS HERE: Get ready and stay informed at tampabay.com/hurricane

PREPARE YOUR STUFF: Get your documents and your data ready for a storm

BUILD YOUR KIT: The stuff you’ll need to stay safe — and comfortable — for the storm

PROTECT YOUR PETS: Your pets can’t get ready for a storm. That’s your job

NEED TO KNOW: Click here to find your evacuation zone and shelter

What Michael taught the Panhandle and Tampa Bay

What the Panhandle’s top emergency officials learned from Michael

‘We’re not going to give up.’ What a school superintendent learned from Michael

What Tampa Bay school leaders fear most from a storm

Tampa Bay’s top cops fear for those who stay behind

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